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Sharks In Kentucky

by Bob Russell

       A recent article in The Louisville Courier-Journal captured my attention. It was entitled, “Sharks in Kentucky?” and reported, “What explorers found in Mammoth Cave is blowing researchers’ minds.”

“During a trip to Mammoth Cave National Park in November, paleontologist John-Paul Hodnett was stunned. Preserved in the walls of the cave were parts of a large, fossilized shark head — from a shark that lived about 330 million years ago.”

    The article went on to disclose that two Mammoth Cave specialists had discovered the fossils while mapping out the cave system. They quickly sent photos to the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., for help identifying their discovery. Hodnett, the program coordinator at Dinosaur Park in Maryland, was asked to help with what became the “Mammoth Cave National Park Fossil Shark Research Project.”

Hodnett reported fossils of shark skeletons are rare because cartilage does not typically survive fossilization. Shark teeth, however, are made of bone and enamel and preserve well. “I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to see in the cave during my trip in November,” Hodnett said. “When we got to our target specimen, my mind was blown.” The fossils weren’t parts to a full skeleton, but parts of a head that belonged to a shark, about the size of a Great White Shark, which ranges in length from 11 feet to 21 feet.”

“Thanks to the slow erosion of the limestone in the cave, the shark teeth are mostly intact and extremely detailed. …”We’ve just scratched the surface,” Hodnett said. “But already it’s showing that Mammoth Cave has a rich fossil shark record.”… He added, “It’s like finding a missing puzzle piece to a very big picture.”

     The big question for me was, how did saltwater fish wind up in Kentucky- hundreds of miles from the ocean? Why were those sharks buried so quickly in mud layers that even some cartilage was fossilized? Paleontologists offer a variety of explanations, which include millions of years to give legitimacy to their speculation.

     It’s obvious this world has undergone some dramatic changes over the years. But there is a relatively simple explanation for sharks in Kentucky to those who believe the Bible. The book of Genesis reads,

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.

     For forty days, the flood kept coming on the earth, and as the waters increased, they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits” (Genesis 7:17-20).

Could it be that sharks wound up in the middle of the landmass of what is now the United States of America due to Noah’s flood which covered the whole earth?

Could it be that mammoth cave and other massive underground caverns are remnants of the “springs of the deep” that once served to water the earth with a mist every morning? (Genesis 2:5-6)

     Could it be that many sea creatures, including sharks, got swept away in the rapidly receding waters, much of which swirled back into the fountains of the deep where they were quickly buried in the thick mud and preserved?

     Could it be that God uses evidence such as the discovery of the remains of sharks in Mammoth Cave and seashells on the highest mountains to remind us in these last days that the Bible is true and its warnings should be heeded? Jesus said if men became silent, even the rocks would cry out to give testimony to Him. Newly discovered fossils are giving testimony to the veracity of the Bible and the coming of Jesus in judgment.

     Robert Jastrow, astronomer, physicist and NASA scientist wrote in God and the Astronomers, “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

     Simon Peter wrote, “Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, ‘Where is this coming he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.’ But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word, the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.   But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:3-9).


    Bob Russell is retired Senior Minister of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY.


The above is a reprint from www.bobrussell.org


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